Sitting in a dimly lit corner of a casino, a young man opens his cigar case. He gazes with smoldering eyes across the table and wonders what the tuxedo-clad gentleman has in mind. Tilting their hats, as the two players contemplate their next move, the rising tension between the men is quite evident. As piles of cards spread on the table, one wonders what fate has in store for each of these players.
The situation was quite similar at the World Rummy Tournament (WRT) which concluded at Casino Royale in Goa recently. Two hundred and fifty qualified contestants were seen battling it out for the coveted trophy and highest cash prize disbursement of Rs 1 crore.
“Such tournaments are quite intense. You are constantly contemplating your opponent’s next move. The 13-card rummy tournament was held nationwide for the past six months and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it,” said 45-year-old Vijay Kumar from Karnataka, who bagged the first runner up award and a cash prize of `12.5 lakh at the World Rummy Tournament.
Hailing from Sakleshpur, Vijay confessed that he never intended to get into the game professionally.
Surrounded by coffee plantations in the picturesque village of Hanbal, he would often enjoy a game or two with his friends and family. “This was never planned. Rummy has always been a great past time of mine. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. One day, the organisers of WRT visited my club in Sakleshpur and conducted a tournament. And, the rest as they say is history. I won the tournament and was given the opportunity to participate at the WRT,” said Vijay.
With calculated moves and a few tricks up his sleeve, Vijay managed to prove that he was stronger than his opponents. Though satisfied with his performance, he said that he wasn’t sure if he would like to pursue a career as a professional player. “I am happy with what I have achieved. I might even consider participating in such events in the future. I would like to build a resort in Sakleshpur with the cash prize I won,” he said.
With more and more youngsters preferring to make a living with card games, Vijay advises people to be aware of what they are getting into with the world of gambling.
“People find this entire concept fascinating. However, I think it should be restricted to just a hobby. It is a highly unstable world and one should think twice before taking it up as a career,” said Vijay.